Wuthering Heights at a GlanceThe English Gothic novel began with Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto , which was enormously popular and quickly imitated by other novelists and soon became a recognizable genre. To most modern readers, however, The Castle of Otranto is dull reading; except for the villain Manfred, the characters are insipid and flat; the action moves at a fast clip with no emphasis or suspense, despite the supernatural manifestations and a young maiden's flight through dark vaults. But contemporary readers found the novel electrifyingly original and thrillingly suspenseful, with its remote setting, its use of the supernatural, and its medieval trappings, all of which have been so frequently imitated and so poorly imitated that they have become stereotypes. The genre takes its name from Otranto's medieval—or Gothic—setting; early Gothic novelists tended to set their novels in remote times like the Middle Ages and in remote places like Italy Matthew Lewis's The Monk , or the Middle East William Beckford's Vathek , Elements of the Gothic have made their way into mainstream writing. Whether or not Wuthering Heights should be classified as a Gothic novel certainly it is not merley a Gothic novel , it undeniably contains Gothic elements. In true Gothic fashion, boundaries are trespassed, specifically love crossing the boundary between life and death and Heathcliff's transgressing social class and family ties.
Is Wuthering Heights a gothic novel?
Follow the self-destructive journey of Heathcliff as he seeks revenge for losing his soul mate, Catherine , to Edgar Linton. Themes — such as good versus evil, chaos and order, selfishness, betrayal, and obsession — intertwine as the story unfolds. Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights is a symbolic and psychological study of the nature of love. Major Thematic Topics: romantic love; brotherly love; love versus hate; revenge; crime and punishment; nature and culture; class structure ; good versus evil; chaos and order; selfishness; betrayal; obsession. Motifs: obsession ; revenge; rebellion. Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw are among the most famous fictional couples of all time. In fact, they probably are second only to Romeo and Juliet in this regard.
Gothic fiction is a literary genre which combines both horror elements and romantic ones. As genre, it is believed to have been invented by Horace Walpole, with his novel The Castle of Otranto, published in Paramount features of Gothic fiction include terror, mystery, ghosts, haunted houses, Gothic architecture, darkness, death, decay, madness, secrets and hereditary curses. Among the stereotypical characters, we find tyrants, villains, maniacs, Byronic heroes, persecuted maidens, femmes fatales, demons, revenants, ghosts and the Devil himself. Most of its action takes place in a morbid setting that is doubled by a more pleasant one, where a subplot is revealed. Its aim is to horrify, shock and, above all, to affect the reader. This genre rejects reason, as it rejects the conventions of society in order to reveal the horrific nature that lies underneath them.